Evening Update Monday 29 March 2021

The municipality of Cannes is deploying an innovative wastewater analysis device to help trace coronavirus outbreaks.  Weekly samples will be taken in 8 strategic sectors, with the objective of isolating a source of contamination in a district, a building or a group of buildings. Tests will be offered to local residents if the alert threshold is reached.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has said that "if additional measures must be taken" to fight the epedemic then "they will be taken". Speaking to French media this morning he said that there is "a deterioration in the health situation" and "the only solution is mass vaccination". He added that the list of businsses currently authorised to open will not change.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi has criticised a demonstration held in Nice yesterday to protest at coronavirus restrictions. He called it "irresponsible and a total disrespect for our caregivers on the front line" and for "the vast majority" of the people of Nice. He said he regretted that the gathering was allowed to take place and called for "exemplary sanctions" against the organizers.

The SNCF have said that they are gradually reducing the number of TGV INOUI and OUIGO trains nationally as from today. The reductions are being made because of confinement now being in place in 19 French departments. The company said that since the start of the year, on average 3 TGVs out of 4 have been in circulation, with a drop in passenger numbers of around 50% compared to normal. For the month of April, long-distance train reservations are down 65%, compared to the same period in 2019. In the South-East, 6 TGV's out of 10 are running during the week, which is unchanged from recent weeks, with extra services on weekends and during school holidays. Inter-regional travel is not permitted except for compelling or professional reasons, for the 19 French departments, including the Alpes-Maritimes, which are currently in lockdown.

The Paris Île-de-France area recorded a historic drop in tourist numbers in 2020 with a loss of more than 33 million tourists compared to 2019. The Paris Region Tourism Committee said that 33.1 million passengers passed through Ile-de-France airports in 2020, which is a drop of 69% compared to the previous year.

In other news, the communes of Belvédère, Breil-sur-Roya and Coursegoules have been recognized as beneficiaries of a state of natural disaster because of the damage caused by Storm Alex last October. The interministerial decree dated March 8 was published in the official journal yesterday. Victims have 10 days from the publication of the decree to submit an estimated statement of the losses they have suffered with their insurance companies in order to benefit from the compensation scheme.

A windsurfer has been rescued after spending the night at sea. The 59-year-old left the port of Carro in Martigues in the Bouches-du-Rhone at around 2 p.m on Saturday. His relatives alerted authorities on Saturday evening when he hadn't returned. Several boats and two helicopters were engaged in the search but the man was eventually picked up by a fishing boat at 8am on Sunday morning, having spent the night at sea. He was brough back to port suffering from dehydration.

Gendarmes from the Motorized Peloton of Saint-Maximin in the Var have intercepted a motorcycle traveling at 213 km / h on the A8 motorway. The motorcyclist was taken into custody and the bike was seized.

Nice deputy mayor and President of Cote d'Azur Habitat Anthony Borre has been included in a ranking of the top 100 French economic leaders under the age of 40. He is the only person in the Choiseul 100 list from the Riviera.

77 new foreign investments were made in the South Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Region in 2020. President of the region, Renauld Muselier, said that despite the health crisis, a total of 1,851 jobs had been created or maintained because of the investments.

 

BUSINESS

The container ship which has been blocking the Suez canal has been refloated this afternoon. The vessel has been towed to a location outside the channel for further inspection.

Food delivery business Deliveroo has said it will price shares for its stock market listing towards the lower end of its previously announced range. Deliveroo now expects to be valued at between £7.6bn and £7.85bn, but it could still be the UK's biggest flotation for a decade.

New figures from retail analyst Springboard have shown that footfall at UK  retailers rose by 6.6% last week compared to the previous week. It's thought that the increase may have been driven by the loosening of some lockdown measures in the UK as from today. However, footfall was still 57.3% lower than the same week in 2019.

In the UK, individuals continued making net repayments of consumer credit such as credit cards in February. The bank of England said that consumer credit fell by £1.2 billion in the month. It also said that net mortgage borrowing was £6.2 billion in February, which was the strongest since March 2016. Mortgage approvals for house purchase were 87,700 in February, down from a peak of 103,700 last November.


SPORT

Football.... Robert Lewandowski is out of the Poland team for this Wednesday's World Cup qualifying match against England. The Bayern Munich player is being treated for a ligament injury sustained during the game against Andorra.

Golf... Scottish golfer Robert MacIntyre will be playing at the Masters in Augusta after remaining in the world top 50. The 24-year-old reached the last 16 of the World Matchplay Championship in Texas, meaning that he's now ranked at number 44 worldwide. The Masters gets underway on 8 April at the Augusta National Golf Club.

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